Community Service Efforts Again Recognize CSUSM on President's National 'Honor Roll'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Margaret Lutz | mlutz@csusm.edu

The Corporation for National and Community Service has named California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for a fifth consecutive year. The 2010 list, released today, recognizes 641 colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative, and effective community service programs.

A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year. Cal State San Marcos has been listed each year since the program's inception in 2006.

"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others," said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Congratulations to Cal State San Marcos and their students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities... and for embracing their civic mission to tackle tough national challenges through service."

On campuses across the nation, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet the local needs of their communities, often applying the skills learned in classroom teachings. In 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training and run senior service programs.

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees and 11 earn the merit as Honor Roll Finalists, with an additional 114 named to the Distinction List and 512 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service learning courses. Click here for a full list of Honor Roll recipients.

"In just over two decades, we at Cal State San Marcos have built a proud and robust tradition of working with and serving our communities locally, nationally and globally," said CSUSM President Karen Haynes. "Often the efforts of our students and faculty go unheralded yet their stories are extremely powerful and inspiring. Community engagement and service learning provide a win-win-win for our students, who are presented with new avenues for learning; for our faculty, who are able to make class topics relevant and bring them to life through hands on experience; and for the communities we serve, who are provided with the support and assistance they need from their university."

Each year, more than 75 classes at Cal State San Marcos integrate service learning into the curriculum. Different than volunteerism, service learning brings to life the subject matter of a course by involving students in real world community service activities that directly relate to classroom teachings. Students annually log more than 160,000 hours of community service valued at over $1.2 million.

Recently, literature and writing students organized innovative literacy exercises for an afterschool program for at-risk elementary students, while teams of computer science students hosted workshops at a local library to help community members gain basic computer skills. From delivering meals to local seniors with limited mobility, to helping rehabilitate and care for sheltered animals, nearly 3,500 students participate in service learning each year.

In one project, students from Dr. Paul Stuhr's kinesiology developed and taught physical education sessions at area middle schools. A mutually valuable partnership, the schools and their students benefit with lower student-teacher ratios and more individualized instruction.

"I was able to put into practice many of the techniques that I am taught in my physical education classes and apply them in a real world environment with actual students," explained Chelsey Hazell, who spent 30 hours during the semester teaching tag rugby and soccer to middle school students.

"We are delighted to find ourselves on the Honor Roll again this year," said Dr. Darci Strother, director of the university's Office of Community Service Learning. "It is a tribute to CSUSM's students from all disciplines across our campus, who through their coursework, clubs and organizations, and self-driven initiatives, strengthen our region through their commitment to community service."

The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

To learn more about CSUSM's commitment service learning, visit www.csusm.edu/ocsl.

About The Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. Eighty-five percent of CSUSM's alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.